From the words of an Ordinary Woman….
I hope this letter reaches you. I hope that you have the time to acknowledge it, to access it, to read it and to accept it. I hope you have the capability to distinguish between what you must and what you mustn’t. I hope you are what I hope you would be.
I am just your ordinary girl. I am a girl from nowhere yet from everywhere. I am a girl you see every day at every nook and corner of the street. I am a girl who laughs aloud with her friends, who parties and who works hard to be what she aspires to be. I am a girl whose mother ties a napkin to her tiny dress with a safety pin in case she dirties herself. I am a girl who wakes up every morning and goes to school for 13 years of her life. I go through multiple phases of heartbreaks and hook ups. I fall in and out of love. I go to college and then prepare myself for the corporate world. I am an ordinary girl, with ordinary choices and needs.
You can give me a name, Jessica, Nirbhaya, Radha or sita. All are the same to me. Names don’t matter Sir, because I am and have always been, a beautiful woman.
At night, while I sleep, I frequently see dreams of a moon lit sky and big shiny white stars and a pretty garden underneath. I see freedom in every living and non living thing. And then, I am woken up by my daily life. I face my father, who hopes for nothing but a safe little corner where his daughter can prosper. He guides me through my routine, everyday. He fears for me, for my life, for my very existence.
I step out of my house. Calm, composed, sophisticated, scared, terrified, tortured. A man whistles at me. I ignore it. Its routine. I board a bus. A man brushes against me. He feels me up. I ignore. Maybe He will get down in a while or maybe my stop will come soon. Maybe the idea of an immediate relief is more overpowering than fighting for it. I reach outside my office, a group of boys hurl unwanted comments at me. I feel small, ridiculed, like I feel every day. But, I ignore. The group of boys would change tomorrow, the comments wont. I enter my office and I am whored into work. Its not work load, its gender bias. I would go on like that for a few years, without promotions and without considerations, since my pre conceived notions act successfully against me. A woman is emotionally vulnerable and delusional. And thus I won’t ever be heard.
One day, my biggest fear confronts me. I am groped, scratched, raped, tortured, burnt and shred apart. Those men, those animals see my body as a means to satisfy their sadistic desires. Its beyond rape. Its cannibalism. My sexual organs, my feminity, my pride, my beauty is reduced to a shameful truth. I become a living evidence of sexual cruelty.
Still, I decide to recover. What remains of me is a skeleton, a prostituted skeleton. But I am willing to fight, to sustain, to be a symbol of an unaltered desire to be free. However, The next morning, my independence gives way to a shameful demise, of my identity, Of me. I cease to exist.
What are you doing about it? Pepper sprays? Help lines on speed dials? All women buses? Autos? Candle light marches? Curfews? Will these seize the psychological rape I go through everyday?
I do not serve my sexuality to you on a platter. I am just trying to be a responsible mother, a lovable sister, a beautiful lover and an amazing wife. Sometimes I am trying to be all at once too. I balance the world.
The world, now, is isolating my gender, my rights. You are drawing concrete heavy boundaries. Your misconceptions about me come at a price. Its not me who needs to stop being me. Its you who needs to contain your lust, to put a blindfold on those prying eyes, to see beyond the darkness, to step beyond hypocrisy and respect the balance. I wont cease to step outside my personal space after midnight. I wont stay in to save myself. I would rather step out to practice safety. I wont cover my body to sustain my sexuality. I would rather uncover it to determine how far you can go, and how driven you are to dilute that act of lust. Can YOU stop sir? Can you stop being yourself? Can you stop being a typical Delhi male?
I will walk free. And I urge all women to walk with me. We are no Cinderella sir, But things CAN turn ugly after midnight, If you want them to, that is. We don’t have to crouch and hide In a dark corner, because that is not safety, That is entrapment. We will come out in the open and declare ourselves. I am no feminist sir, but freedom wont come until we are released.
Therefore, rules, regulations, boundaries , policies and procedures don’t serve my need to be safe. They provide temporary solutions, while we are looking for permanent changes. Its not the change that matters sir, it’s the management of that change. Can you do that? Can you manage a mind set change? Can you manage a perception change? Can you ? will you? We await an answer. We await a solution. We await freedom.
I do not seek attention. I just have something to say.
An ordinary woman.
Originally published at thegirlofchaos.blogspot.com.